The World Pond Hockey Championships are held each year in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick, Canadav during February. It is a four-day event that now attracts participants from all across Canada, the United States and teams from Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.
Twenty ice surfaces located on Roulston Lake in the middle of our community host forty teams simultaneous thirty (30) minute games throughout the course of the tournament. Forty (40) teams all play at the same time. Each team is guaranteed five games with play downs taking place on Sunday.
Over two hundred volunteers deal with tournament issues and the needs of our participants. It is an event that embraces the fabric of the community and brings them together for a common cause. Upwards of seven thousand people attend the annual event as spectators and we have received tremendous exposure through the media worldwide. Since our first event in 2002 the following media sources have covered this unique event:
• CBC Hockey Night in Canada (Hockey Day in Canada, February, 2003, 2004, 2009)
• TSN ,The Sporting News (That’s Hockey / Sportcenter, Feb 4/5/6 2003)
• TSN, The Sporting News (30-minute feature, March 2003)
• CBS Sports (Affiliate in Maine, USA, national on-site reports, 2002 – present)
• CTV (Regional-National on-site reports, 2002 – present)
• Global TV (Regional-National on-site reports, 2002 – present)
• Rogers Sportsnet TV (30-minute feature on “The Hockey News” 2002 and Slapstick 30-minute feature in 2004)
• CBC TV (Regional-National on-site reports, 2002 – present)
• CBC National Sunday 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010
• TSN – Hockey Lives Here 2005
• CBC – 2002 – present
• CTV / ATV 2002 – present
• ESPN – Timeless – 2005
• ABC Sports- 2005
• NBC Nightly News – 2005
• CBS Sports – 2005 – present
• La Presse – 2006
• CBC-TV – 2006 – present
• CTV – 2006
• CBS – 2006 – present
• Global TV – 2006-2007 – present
• Feature on CBC Hockey Day in Canada – 2007
• NESN – 2006, 2009, 2011
• The Weather Network
• Rogers Television – 30-minute special – 2013
• Sportsnet – 30-minute special – 2015
• Rogers Sportsnet – 2016 On Site Features
• Budweiser Commercial for NHL Play-offs – 2016
• Budweiser Red Light Program
• CBC Land and Sea – 2017
• CBC Regional-National (interviews / reports)
• All local – regional stations throughout New Brunswick and Maritimes
• Eastern United States (particularly those in communities of participants)
• Toronto, Hamilton, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal, Quebec City, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Quebec City
• Readers Digest
• Hockey, le Magazine
• New York Daily News
• Men’s Journal Magazine
• Spirit of the North Magazine
• Country Living Magazine
• Travel Magazine
• New York Post
• Saltscapes Magazine
• Men’s Health Magazine
• Up Magazine
• Readers Digest Online
• International Ice Hockey Federation Online
• enRoute Magazine
• About Czech Ice Hockey
• New York Times
• Wall Street Journal
• Time Magazine
• Globe and Mail
• Boston Globe
• Calgary Herald
• International Herald Tribune
• Montreal Gazette
• Toronto Star
• Toronto Sun
• All major New Brunswick Nova Scotia and PEI newspapers
• The Canadian Press (variety of newspapers across Canada)
• Maine Times Weekly
• The Hockey News
• Edmonton Sun
• Sports Illustrated
• The Hockey News
• Washington Post
• Face-Off Magazine
• The New England Hockey Journal
• Canadian Geographic
One hundred and twenty (120) teams of five (5) players plus our ladies division participate in outdoor hockey action in a setting that rekindles memories of their childhood. A frozen lake with ice gleaming, the sounds of skates carving ice and sticks contacting pucks, and the sights and sounds associated with the camaraderie, exuberance, excitement, and fun of the game in its purest form. The competitive nature of those involved is evident however, the bond of sharing the experience dominates the atmosphere surrounding the event.
Goals of the Tournament
1. To promote Plaster Rock and surrounding area as a tourist destination point
2. To raise money for local charities (new recreation facility)
3. To help maintain pond hockey as part of our proud Canadian heritage
4. To bring people together in a fun and invigorating environment, promoting healthy active living
We hosted forty teams at the inaugural 2002 event. All were from New Brunswick along with teams from PEI, Nova Scotia and Maine, USA. The event grew to sixty-four teams in 2003 with our first out of region team from Toronto. In June 16 of 2003 registration for the 2004 event opened at 9:00 a.m. Atlantic Time and by 5:00 p.m. that evening, seventy-seven teams had registered. The remaining three (3) spots were filled by early evening filling a still growing eighty team event.
The 2004 featured teams from throughout the Maritimes (NB, NS and PEI) as well as three teams from the Montreal area, seven teams from the Ottawa area, nine teams from the Toronto / Hamilton area, one from Sioux Lookout, Ontario, one from Vancouver, BC, four from Maine, USA, two from Tennessee,
two from Maryland, and one from Virginia.
In 2005 we had teams from every province in Canada except Alberta plus U.S.based teams from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado, Nevada, and California. Teams from the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and England round out the international field.
2006 saw over 1700 teams vying for the 120 tournament openings. Every province in Canada; over 30 U.S.States; England, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Sweden, Australia, China, Bermuda, Barbados, and the Cayman Islands have teams hoping to attend.
The 2007 event was much the same with 2500 teams and over eight hundred returned application forms. Since that time that trend continues – hundreds of team applications every year from around the globe.
World Pond Hockey Championship Inc. also partners with other similar events across North America and around the world. These events came about as a result of World Pond Hockey and currently include The Czech and Slovak Pond Hockey Tournament. World Pond Hockey Championship Inc. is also a partner with the Winnipeg Jets and their Project 11 initiative that has mental health and resiliency curriculum
included into New Brunswick’s school system.w.w
Details of Participation
Teams participate in 4-on-4 action. Each team is permitted to have five players (1 sub) but four is all that is required. Rinks are approximately 70 x 140, 67% in size compared to an indoor ice surface and no goaltenders are used. Our nets are the standard six feet in width but only ten inches in height. Games are comprised of two 15-minute halves with a 5-minute break.
All teams are required to pay an entry fee, which includes a welcome package, insurance, team pictures, courtesy travel from local accommodations to site and tickets to the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening social events.
Minimum of five (5) round robin games plus opportunity for Sunday play downs. Teams are not screened in any way relative to their competitiveness, but divisions are formed to ensure each participant gets to play against and experience teams from other geographic locations.
Team sponsorship is not considered event sponsorship. Many teams are sponsored while
others simply pay “out of pocket.” World Pond Hockey Championship Inc. is a member of both Hockey New Brunswick and Hockey Canada and their respective insurance programs. Insurance is supplemented by a signed waiver which is required by our insurance providers. Failure to sign team waiver forms prior to playing will result in sanctions.